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Our Christian Perspective

Is Your Pastor A Judas Goat

Whose Teachings Will Send You Straight to Hell?

By Brother James

            I am retired and, I do not require much sleep. If I should wake up in the middle of the night, let us say between 2am and 4am, and feel restless, I will most likely get up, go to my computer and commence writing an article, or, do some historical or biblical research. What seems to cause me some dismay is that if I should not get up and get on the computer, but, decide to watch one of the various so-called religious channels, I am immediately bombarded with messages whose only intent is to enrich the pastor or pastors in the televised pulpit. Considering the educational levels in this society, I am amazed and dismayed by the number of Christians being duped by pastors who preach various forms of the prosperity gospel. What I am about to say is not intended to be braggadocios; I say it only because it’s true. I am a member of a Baptist church in Southfield, Michigan which is in Oakland County. Oakland County is Michigan’s wealthiest county. Correspondingly, given the fact it is the wealthiest county, one could surmise the residents would be some of the best educated people within the state. For 13 years, I co-taught Sunday School at a church in Southfield, a northern Detroit suburb.Should my recollection correctly serve me, there were at least three Ph. D’s, and no less than five Detroit Public School System teachers participating in the Sunday School class. In addition, there were numerous professional people who were in the manufacturing, medical, legal, political etc., arenas. But, when I consider how these assumed educated individuals and others throughout the congregation bow down and subscribe to this pastor who in my mind is scholastically lazy, inept and a lumpen (vulgar, common, low class, marginally educated) intellectual, I am confused why my fellow congregants cannot see through his guise, his masquerade as a true man of God. This man, in my mind does not demonstrate the appropriate levels of education in theology, and divinity. He is obviously NOT educated in biblical history, ancient Hebrew, ancient Aramaic (the ancient Hebrew dialect/language of Jesus), and ancient “Koine” Greek. So, I just do not understand how he holds sway over these folks. This pastor, who is worshipped as a god on earth by many congregants cannot spell Hermeneutics let alone define and properly apply its principles in his sermons. For example, he once preached a sermon on fasting and told the congregation that Almighty God would grant them the desires of their hearts if only they fasted for 40 days. “Come on now,” if all we had to do was fast for 40 days to be blessed as if we possessed Aladdin’s Lamp, everyone with half a brain would fast and have all their desires granted by God. Even non-believers would fast do you not think? But, at the end of the fasting period, many folks dreams and desires were not manifested, so, when pressed by the congregants whose desires were not granted, this pastor said, “Your faith must not have been strong enough for God to bless you.”  This was this pastor’s patented response when he was questioned by the many congregants who fasted religiously, losing a lot of weight, but, the things they desired and craved were absent at the end of the 40 day fasting ritual period.

On another occasion, this unlearned, yet charismatic pastor taught the doctrine that one could automatically lose their salvation through sinning. Again, I say, “C’mon man.” If that were the case, I envision heaven being a very lonely and virtually empty place! On the issue of one losing their salvation because of their sin, two scriptures readily come to mind. First, the story of the adulteress in John 8:7, “7 When they kept on questioning him, he [Jesus] straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her (NIV).”” Second, the NIV translation of God’s word states in Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” To ensure that this false doctrine was permeated throughout the church, this pastor came to one of the Sunday School teachers weekly meetings and mandated that every teacher had to incorporate “you can lose your salvation after accepting Christ” in our teachings or we would have to step down. I did say, I taught Sunday School for 13 years did I not? Yes, I took a Sabbatical to avoid a conflict with this Judas Goat of a pastor. I took a sabbatical not because I feared him, rather, because I refuse to play his evil and Satan inspired game. Simply, he feared my teaching abilities and wanted me out, not only of the Sunday School teaching rotation, but, out of the church so he might reign supreme in the eyes of the congregation! I have to give this pastor credit for creating a unique cult of personality. A cult of personality exists when a leader uses whatever means they possess such as their gift of gab and charisma to generate undying and unquestionable loyalty by his followers. The book, Black Gods of the Metropolis: Negro Religious Cults of the Urban North by Arthur Huff Fauset is an excellent work on how charismatic leaders such as Father Divine, Sweet Daddy Grace and other false religious leaders create cults of personality similar to that of Rev. Jim Jones whose fanatical and faithful (902) followers were seduced to join him in death by drinking poisoned Kool Aid.

The point of this discourse is that too many people do not “Study to show themselves approved” and are being led like sheep by a Judas goat to their own Spiritual slaughter. The word of God refers to the saved as sheep, but, not always in a negative context. The word teaches us through the parable of the one lost sheep out of a flock of 100 that God prizes each of us, cares for us, and wants ALL of us to be joined together so we might attain His salvation and eternal life.  The Old Testaments teaches us that a sheep or a lamb was the prized animal to be sacrificed for atonement for ones sin by the ancient Hebrews. I have always stated that in the Old Testament era SOMETHING; a lamb, a bull, a dove, etc. had to die as a sacrifice for sin, but, in the New Testament era someone, namely Jesus, had to die as a sacrifice for our sins. So, sheep are valuable in the eyes of God. But without proper guidance and leadership in the ways of God they/we could be easily led astray by false doctrines. If we were to look at a dictionary definition of sheep we would find: “a meek, unimaginative, or easily led person; a timid defenseless creature; a timid docile person; especially: one easily influenced or led.” The question now arises are you a sheep who is easily led? Are you someone who will shout “Amen” when your pastor yells from the pulpit, “I don’t need to study Hebrew or Greek, or, some other such nonsensical and blatantly distorted teaching?” Do you accept carte blanche every word of every sermon your pastor delivers without ever taking the time to do your due diligence and research their message in their sermon? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions you might be a sheep in the negative sense in the eyes of God.

The Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary in the section entitled Animals of the Bible, describes the nature of sheep in the following manner, “By nature, sheep are helpless creatures. They depend on shepherds to lead them to water and pasture, to fend off wild beasts, and to anoint their faces with oil when a snake nips their faces from the grass. ” Further, this dictionary also states, “a unique relationship existed between the Shepherd and sheep. He knew them by name, and they in turn recognized his voice. Sheep are models of submissiveness. Because of their demonstrated purity and truthful obedience to the father, Jesus was also called (The Lamb of God) (John 1:29, 36).”

I have defined how we are sheep in God’s pasture but are we being led by the cousin of sheep, goats, or, more importantly a Judas Goat in the form of our religious leader?

Sheep and goats are related in nature, but, I feel we need to distinguish the major distinctions between the two cousins, so to speak. Sheep are docile and timid. Goats are stubbornly headstrong and very aggressive. Sheep readily follow the instructions of their shepherd. Goats are unpredictable, contrary, devious, impulsive and rebellious in terms of finding their own way without being led. Sheep are content to stay within the confines of the pasture controlled by their shepherd. Goats love to be free of confinement and if fenced in will find a way to escape. Sheep love to be led and nurtured by their shepherd. Goats love their independence and do not like being controlled. Sheep are good followers and goats are not! In the Bible sheep represent loving and kind people while goats represent evildoers such as those people throughout the Bible who were inimical to Christ. Just in case you are not familiar with the word inimical, Satan was, has and will always be inimical an enemy of Christ!

There is an old adage that states, “There is some old in the new and some new in the old.” The inference, I hope you will draw here is that there were false prophets, teachers and pastors in the Old Testament era and there are people in our contemporary times who are following suit, deceiving God’s people and leading God’s sheep to spiritual slaughter. These false teachers can be found worldwide and we must learn to distinguish them from God’s true messengers. But, what is a “Judas Goat?” A Judas goat in today’s pulpit is dangerous, extremely dangerous! A Judas goat in today’s pulpit can and will delude some faithful learned and unlearned Christians and lead them to spiritual slaughter. But, let us look at a definition of a Judas goat taken from Wikipedia for more clarity, so, I might expand my point. “A Judas goat is a trained goat used in general animal herding. The Judas goat is trained to associate with sheep or cattle, leading them to a specific destination. In stockyards, a Judas goat will lead sheep to slaughter, while its own life is spared.” I find the last portion of the last sentence of the Wikipedia definition of a Judas goat extremely interesting! .In addition to being used to herd sheep, Judas goats “In stockyards, a Judas goat will lead sheep to slaughter, while its own life is spared.” Wow!   I have come to understand that in the sheep pens in the stockyard there is a long and narrow walkway at the far end of the sheep pen. The Judas goat along with a sheepdog and a human stockyard attendant prod the sheep to this narrow walkway from within the big sheep pen. At a designated moment the Judas goat positions himself in front of all the sheep in the sheep pen and leads them one by one into the narrow walkway. As the Judas goat does his job the sheep directly behind him are in such closed quarters that they are unable to turn around and run away. At the end of the walkway there is a proverbial fork in the road. There are two gates, one on the left and one on the right. The unsuspecting sheep are bunched so tightly one behind one another they cannot escape especially as they smell the devastatingly pungent odor of death of sheep who have previously met their fate in the slaughterhouse! At this fork in the walkway one of the gates quickly opens allowing the Judas goat to enter just before this gate slams shut immediately after he enters. The frightened sheep are forced one by one by those bunched behind them sensing their impending doom as the other gate, the one leading directly to the slaughterhouse opens. Can you imagine their abject fear and horror as these docile sheep wait in line to be hung by their rear legs that are tied together then being lofted to a low ceiling where their throats are slit and they are processed on a revolving rack like one we would see in a dry cleaners. Can you imagine how these poor animals probably realized just before their deaths the worst mistake they made in their life, that being putting their total trust in one that they thought was like them, who led them and loved them, the Judas goat. Such is the way to hell for those who admire and make gods of these Judas goats in the pulpit who will pretend to love those they lead only to betray them at the 11th hour. I took you through this horrible description of how docile sheep are slaughtered with the assistance of a Judas goat to make an important point. In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus informs us that, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”  You see Jesus provides us a choice of going down two narrow paths in life each leading to a gate. One gate leads to a heavenly reward and the other to eternal death and destruction. Jesus is our GPS to heaven through the divine and righteous gate, Gate number 1.  However, sometimes in life we opt not to use the heavenly GPS and opt to follow the course of pursuing material things, status, popularity and power while not paying attention to the gate clearly marked Gate number 2. Some will be led to and through Gate number 2 and will discover their cardinal error when it is much too late

I believe that God wants us to always be on guard against the Judas goats, Satan’ minions, who endeavor to lead us astray from our eternal reward in the Kingdom of God, in heaven. These Judas goats may think they are deceiving us and the Lord, but, their ultimate doom is prophesied in II Peter 2:1-3 where under the heading The False Prophets and Their Punishment, the New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA) reads, “1But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive opinions. They will even deny the Master who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Even so, many will follow their licentious ways, and because of these teachers the way of truth will be maligned. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words. Their condemnation, pronounced against them long ago, has not been idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

God’s word in II Timothy 4:3-4 NIV informs us that many will be deceived by the false doctrines being espoused by men whose only interest is to live the proverbial, “lifestyles of the rich and famous.” “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” As Christians we must vigilantly be on guard against religious leaders who like the Judas goats are working against God’s plan of offering salvation to His sheep, and we are the proverbial sheep of His pasture.

Please endeavor to study the word of God, so, you might be faithful to it, as opposed to idolizing some eloquent, loquacious and articulate false teacher in the pulpit. Please find a church that focuses in its teachings on the true meaning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Please avoid a Judas goat of a pastor whose sermons teach you to pursue material, earthly rewards as opposed to seeking first heavenly rewards found in the kingdom of God. Please research the sermons you hear for their truth in contrast to simply accepting without question what your pastor said! When I think of the many false teachers who have congregants who do not do proper study of God’s Holy word, I am reminded of the apropos lyrics of a James Brown song which clearly illustrates my point which is false teachers are, “Talking loud, but, saying nothing!” The NIV translation of God’s word provides us with a paradigm to live by which is found in Acts 17:11, and it reads, “11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. “

| I sincerely pray you will always receive God’s word with tremendous eagerness and enthusiasm like the ancient Bereans.  Please check the word of God espoused by your pastor to ensure what he/she says is in line with the Lord’s truth! There are two ways to interpret the Bible, exegesis, which means to realize the intended message of the author, and eisegesis, which means to put one’s own interpretation into the message of a speaker. Please remember the adage, “The speaker and writer implies and the listener and reader infers.” The choice of whose voice to listen to in life is a simple one, we should listen to the voice of our shepherd, Jesus Christ. Or, we can follow the voice of a Judas goat. But, we must be ever so mindful of the consequences of where we will spend eternity depending on whose voice we listen to!  I for one do not want to spend eternity in Hell! And, I am not going to drink the poisoned Kool Aid provided me by a Judas goat! The choice is ours to make. Amen???

ECO Copyright 2017 Brother James (Henry James)

Resurrection Mission Baptist Church
Meeting at Restoration Ministries
1728 Stanford Road, Berkley, MI 48072-3060
Sunday School 10:00 AM
Sunday Worship 11:00 AM
Cell: (248) 225-3876
Residence: (248) 356-2537

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